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Posts posted by tanstaafl2

  1. On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2016 at 10:42 PM, campus five said:


    Yeah, I'd guess this would be more like combining Coruba and Smith and Cross, and the 86pf Hamilton Demerara would be closer to the Coruba. 


    It definitely shares more in common with the Smith & Cross but at a lower proof (unfortunately, although at 93 proof it is still a good bit higher than the basic 80 proof of Coruba). The Coruba makes a lovely little Category 1 Hurricane that can please a crowd. The Hamilton adds some punch to the storm that makes you realize you might want to close the storm shutters!


    I don't have Hamilton 86 proof Demerara on hand (I typically just keep the overproof version) but most reviews describe it as having more smoky woody character than either of these two. That seems consistent with what I get from the overproof version.

  2. On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2016 at 4:25 PM, rotuts said:

    Wow  ! I would not refuse a small taste of the "00"


    just saying.




    The nose was quite nice with a nice dominant apple character. Sadly, I did not have quite the same appreciation for the palate that the reviewer had. It brought little of the apple promised by the nose, crisp or otherwise, and I got little or no spice and cinnamon. I got a bit of heat that passed for spice and the yeasty character and a more typical raw edge one tends to get with new make spirit. A touch of water helped but not enough to make me want to seek out another. Kind of sad as I had fairly high expectations. I will try it again to see if it is improved with a bit of time but I am not overly hopeful.

  3. A few new additions for my birthday from my favorite person to pick out spirits for me. That would be me!


    Rhum JM and Liberation rhum from Astor June 16.JPG


    A little bit of rhum agricole including the Rhum JM 15yo 1996 vintage (which I confess was the big splurge). I love the 1994 and wanted the 1995 but couldn't find that one. Hoping the 1996 is just as good. The last one is another Liberation rhum from Marie Gallant but this was "liberated" in 2010 rather than 2015.


    Double Zero Eau de Vie Cidre.JPGDouble Zero Eau de Vie Cidre 2.JPG


    Double Zero Eau de Vie de Cidre which is distilled from Cyril Zangs French cidre. A rather minimalist package right down to the clear plastic "cork"! A review from a blog I follow had a decent review of it so I thought what the heck! Apparently the cidre is quite trendy but very uncommon in the states.


    Springbank Local Barley 16.JPG

    Didn't seem likely this was going to show up locally so I picked one up online.


    Hamilton Black Jamaican rum.JPG


    And finally a bit more rum to see if it works well in my Hurricane's. I usually use Coruba but that is more difficult to find locally and I am hoping this is a bit more feisty than the Coruba anyway.

    • Like 2

  4. Looks very nice! I tend to keep to the habit of using a julep strainer with my stirring glass as I tend to get ice in the drink if I use a hawthorne or else double strain with  a mesh strainer and reserving the Hawthorne for use with my shaker (I finally broke down recently and got a new set). Not sure if the resident pros have an opinion one way or the other. Or if it matters at all for that matter!

  5. 1 hour ago, campus five said:

    After yet another visit to a liquor store to buy new rum, I decided to go with the classic Mai Tai. 


    The book lays out the saga of rums used in the Mai Tai historically over 3 pages, and perhaps because I was already imbibing when I would read the last paragraph or two, I kept missing the information that SC's house Mai Tai uses Denizen Merchant's Reserve Rum, and that said rum was a collaboration between Denizen and Martin Cate to fashion a rum after "Trader Vic’s Second Adjusted Formula, the formula Vic used to create his Mai Tai rum when both Wray and Nephew 15 year and Wray and Nephew 17 year supplies ran out.  It’s a blend of 8-year-old Jamaican pot-still rum and molasses-based rhum grand arôme from Martinique"


    I've been using Rubdood's suggestion of Appleton 12 and Clement VSOP for years in my Mai Tais, and the Merchant's Reserve is definitely a suitable option, and, bonus, it's cheaper that both of those rums! 

    mai tai denizen.jpg


    I learned that about Denizen sitting in the Smuggler's Cove bar last month just a little before the book came out.


    I tried this comparison as well recently and typically use both those rums too although I think I have sometimes substituted the 6yo Clement for the VSOP (and I have been known to sub Creole Shrub for Curacao as well). While I found the Denizen to be adequate in a pinch I thought it a bit weaker overall in the richness of the drink. But it wasn't done blind and I may have been a bit biased towards my usual recipe. Still, the Denizen would probably do OK in a pinch.


    Lots of people seem to float the lime shell on top. My local tiki bar typically loads it up with something high proof and sets it on fire (gotta give the local tiki noobs a show I suppose!). But I always sink my lime shell into the drink as that was the way I learned to make it. I don't suppose it makes that much difference though.

  6. I had a similar question about this particular recipe and it does seem to be a bit confusing. As noted it is the only rum suggested in the list of rums on page 198 (I think the full list covers pagess 197-199 but I don't have the book in front of me at the moment). I was making the Dr. Funk on Friday (without the seltzer which I found unnecessary and in fact detracted from the drink for me). The Hamilton Jamaican Black Pot Still Rum indeed appears to be a unaged or young rum colored with "double strength black caramel" and I suppose what makes it more distinctive from the Hamilton Gold is the percentage of light versus heavy pot still rums used in each blend for these bottlings. The coloring alone can't be the only difference can it?


    Some info on them here.


    Interestingly the pdf implies that both Myers and Coruba used to fit this category but in the opinion of Ed Hamilton (I presume) no longer had the traditional character found in earlier versions of these rums. Will have to check the list in the book to see if Myers (unlikely) or Coruba are on the list at all. Coruba was my go to for Hurricanes when I can find it but if the Hamilton will do it would be nice to have an alternative.


  7. On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 3:58 PM, weinoo said:

    Anyone try this stuff on the right?




    One of the many labels coming out of Terressentia in SC (although they recently bought the old Charles Medley distillery in Owensboro, KY which they renamed the O.Z. Taylor distillery). This is a company that buys whiskey (likely much of it young whiskey from MGP but who knows for sure?) and "treats" it with an ultrasonic process which it claims makes it taste like more mature whiskey. My few early dalliances with their brands suggest that it is not the least bit successful and still tastes like young raw whiskey. I have not had this particular version and I don't plan to do so.

    • Like 1

  8. More fun with sugar cane!


    Rhum agricole from Astor 1.JPGRhum agricole from Astor 2.JPG


    Top row are the cask strength aged Capovilla "Liberation" rhum agricole (116.8 pf) and Capovilla rhum agricole blanc bottled at 112 pf both from Marie Gallant in Guadeloupe. In between is a Plantation 1998 Guadeloupe finished in cognac and Tokay casks (basically a restock of that one. Appears it was a store pick of sorts).


    The bottom row has a couple of Duncan Taylors that were aged and bottled in Scotland at cask strength and noted as being without added color or other additives. One is a 1998 16yo (110.4 pf) from the Uitvlught plantation in Guyana before all the rum production was nationalized and centralized in 2000 and the other is a 1998 14yo (104.6 pf) from the Bellevue distillery in Marie Gallant, Guadeloupe. Interestingly the Bellevue distillery is made on a column still rather than a pot still. The tasting notes for it claim dry spices, mustard, earthy smoke, campfire, pure sugar, maple, and dried bananas. Hmm. Pretty interesting for a rum with presumably no color or additives.


    In the middle in the frosted bottle is a 1 litre Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc at a modest 140 pf. Couldn't resist as I figured this might be the closest thing I could get to "white dog" right off the still!


    Traveling a bit for the next couple of weeks so not sure when I will be able to get to them but soon I hope!

    • Like 3

  9. On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 2:54 PM, Progress bar said:

    If you are in the Atlanta area, mac's on eighth street in midtown just got a shipment of the 2014 caol ila 15 unpeated. As of last Friday they had four bottles if you are still interested. As for the bowmore, do you like the later years? I tend to find they drink more like a spey side than an islay especially if they are older. 

    I have some of the  2014 15yo Caol Ila unpeated already but thanks. It is a particular nice one though! I still haven't done a side by side with the 2015 17yo unpeated yet nor have I even seen the 17yo in town. Had to get mine from other sources. And where did all the 16yo go??? 9_9


    As for Bowmore these were a bit unusual because of the full maturation in port pipes. Compared side by side I found that the 23yo lost some of the unique balance of peat and sweetness that has made the 199116yo Port matured Bowmore such a favorite of mine. Which is not to say the 23 is not good. Just not "as" good! :D


    I find that age slowly softens the peat in many whisky's although it can certainly vary by distillery. For example I love older Caol Ila where the peat seems to take on an almost sweet character with time. Not sure I would call it a typical speyside though! The same with Bowmore.

  10. 16 hours ago, Moto said:

    I have the 2012 Rhum Rhum bortled @ 45%. Can't say I'm a fan. It is well made but not to my taste. Lots of flavors reminiscent of green tea. The Lonecaner had a recent review of the 2015 and had high praise for the cask strength


    Rhum Agricole typically is a bit funky and it sounds like this will be no different from the few reviews I have seen. I was leaning towards the cask strength and maybe the blanc just for the sake of variety.

  11. 48 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:


    Is it this one? I haven't, but it sounds wonderful...


    That is one of the options but it is the 2015 version. There is also a blanc version and apparently a cask strength version. I don't know which to choose! Might have to just get them all...


    Rather spendy though. Apparently the price has sky rocketed in 5 or so years!


    Don't you just love how they spelled Sauternes! At least I presume that is what they were going for. Auto correct at it is finest perhaps?

  12. Some new toys to play with. I have been picking up the annual Caol Ila unpeated bottle from the Diageo "special release" each year but for some reason it never showed up in Atlanta this year. So a friend did me a solid and sent me one! This year (the 2015 release) is a 17yo cask strength bottle weighing in at 111.8 proof and aged in used bourbon. Each year is a bit different in some way and typically a bit older. 2012 was 14yo aged in European oak, probably sherry. 2013 was the Stitchell Reserve blend of unpeated Caol Ila and 2014 was a 15yo unpeated from used bourbon. It is interesting to taste the underlying Caol Ila distillate without the peat (there is typically a little peat but not much in these bottles).


    I also was able to get a bottle of a 23yo Bowmore fully matured in port that was distilled in 1989 and bottled at a cask strength of 101.6 proof in 2012. One of my favorite bottles of whisky is a 16yo Bowmore that was also fully matured in port distilled in 1991 (peeking out from behind the 23yo Bowmore) so I am really looking forward to trying this one.


    Fun stuff!


    Caol ila 17 Bowmore 23.JPG


    Next up may be some Marie Gallant Rhum Agricole called Capovilla just for fun. Anybody tried that one?

    • Like 1

  13. 12 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

    I'm not aware of Laird's apple brandy without an age statement.  I drink bonded, 7 1/2, and 12.  They do sell a white, unaged, but I have never tried it.


     Laird's was once bonded but the recent cocktail craze apparently caught them somewhat unawares much as is the case with bourbon and whiskey in general. It used to consist of a brandy that was about 4 to 7 years old (it all had to be from one "season" to be considered bonded so it was all about the same age but they didn't always use just the 4yo). When I noticed the loss of the bonded statement  back in Dec 2014 I queried the company and they noted their reserves had been depleted to the point where they needed to use brandy from several different years to include 3 year old to make the 100 proof version. They indicated that they hope to catch up to the point where they can again label it as bonded in the future. Time will tell.


    Lairds Apple no BIB.jpg


    It now says "Founded 1780" where it once said "Bottled in Bond".


    The Laird's 12 is nice but for me there is not much apple character left to my palate. The 7 1/2 year old (yes, it is in fact age stated at 7.5 years!) is a somewhat better compromise to compare to Calvados but only 80 proof. I still use the 100 proof version for what I feel is the best combination of flavor and proof in cocktails. The AppleJack with its heavy NGS character is less interesting and useful to me.


    I haven't tried the white "Jersey Lightning" version (don't think I have even seen it locally) and not really that interested to be honest. I suppose it could be better than some of the apple flavored GNS that is labeled as moonshine these days (a pretty low bar...) but that is not a category I seek out in general!

    • Like 3

  14. On ‎11‎/‎11‎/‎2015 at 5:41 AM, ananth said:

    I love the Greenpoint but there is another Manhattan twist that I am fond of.

    Joseph AKHAVAN, a French (yes another one :raz:) bartender, presented his 44°43’N/142°30’E (it represents Hokkaido’s GPS coordinates) which allowed him to win the 2011 edition of the Nikka Perfect Serve. This cocktail is now known as Bamboo Crane.


    Bamboo Crane :


    50 ml Nikka From the Barrel

    15 ml Carpano Antica Formula

    7,5 ml Xérès Pedro Ximenez

    2,5 ml Bonal

    1 dash of Peychaud’s Bitters

    3 drops of Bob’s Abbotts Bitters


    I can only recommend you to try this sublime twist of the Manhattan.




    Sounds interesting but given how hard Nikka from the Barrel is to get in the US I am reluctant to use much for a cocktail. I wonder if I could get away with Yoichi, especially the newer NAS bottle although that isn't much easier to find these days, or perhaps Hakushu which I think will also be NAS going forward.


    Have gotten a bit carried away of late with a bunch of different online and local purchases to include a spate of Irish whiskey and a recent splurge at The Whisky Exchange.


    Temptation got the best of me and I just had to get a different "tree" of the Midleton Dair Ghaelach. So I ordered one from TWE and now I have "tree" #9 to compare to #6. But of course you can't get just one bottle when ordering from TWE so I had to get a few more!


    TWE shipment APR 16.JPGDair Ghaelach tree 9.JPGChartreuse MOF.JPG


    That included a special bottling of Yellow Chartreuse from the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Sommeliers because I love chartreuse in all it's many forms and lets face it, I can't resist something odd and unusual! It was inspired in part by a recent post about a cocktail from our own resident "Princess de Grenouille"!


    Also included were two TWE exclusives, a 22yo cask strength Irish single malt with the humble name of "Finest Irish Single Malt" (Presumably Cooley whiskey) and a 15yo cask strength Glenfarclas (both a bit of a gamble).


    The one I am most curious about though is the Spirit of Hven Sankt Claus which was an award winner by Whisky Advocate with an interesting history. Again a cask strength offering of a single cask of Merlot finished Swedish whisky offered as a Christmas special. Probably doesn't get much more unusual than that! The description of distillation in the comments by the distiller make for an interesting read. I hope it lives up to the hype!

    Hven Sankt Claus.JPG


    And finally I got a refill on Perique because, well, you can just never have too much Perique!


    Locally I managed to acquire the new CEHT Seasoned Wood and also picked up a bottle of viognier wine from the Condrieu region of the northern Rhone valley because another bottle I discovered recently in my buying spree was a cask strength offering from a small French distillery near Grenoble called Domaine des Hautes Glaces. Their first cask strength single cask release in the US that I know of was fully matured in viognier wine from Condrieu so I thought it might be fun to compare the wine to the whisky. Age is unknown but can't be over about six since that is about how long they have been around but tons of color and flavor!

    Hautes Glaces 1.JPGHautes Glaces 2.JPG





    • Like 4

  16. On ‎4‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 9:14 PM, lesliec said:


    The nocino is a local (Nelson) one which I shall use for comparative purposes when my own is ready in a couple of weeks.  The Four Roses is a restock.  Decent mezcal is really hard to find here, so I grabbed the Minero when I saw it.  And I shall use the Barbancourt for making Supercool Vieux Carrés, among other things.


    What do you use as your Genever? The Kindred Cocktails recipe seemed to suggest a rye malt based genever. Don't have any Rogge style genever on hand. Perhaps the Bols barrel aged would be a reasonable option. I wonder if the dry rye St. George gin would work?. Or maybe the Anchor Genevieve?

  17. On ‎4‎/‎1‎/‎2016 at 0:57 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

    Actually I use 5 ml for 1/4 oz.


    You are shorting yourself just a tad. Who wouldn't want more alcohol!


    An ounce is roughly 29.57 ml (Many people, including me, round up to 30ml). 1/4 of that is about 7.3925 ml. If you use 30 ml for an ounce then it is 7.5 ml for 1/4 ounce.

  18. 22 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

    I think they had to vary the ratios a bit to get it to work. I will need to contact the restaurant to confirm.


    22 hours ago, FrogPrincesse said:

    Thanks! :)



    I was mistaken. It is a typical 3/4:3/4:3/4:3/4 with Peat Monster, Lime Juice, Green Chartreuse and Maraschino. It also has a misting of absinthe from an atomizer over the top followed by a very light sprinkle of cayenne pepper over the top (the part I forgot!). I thought it was very good but also thought some tweaking of the four main ingredients might help improve it even more.


    The other drink, the King John, was more Manhattan-esque (or perhaps Rob Roy-esque is more appropriate!) with 2 oz Great King Street Artists Blend, 0,5 Carpano Antica, 0.5 Cherry Herring, 1 barspoon of Amaro del Sole, a dash of Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters, express an orange peel and wipe around the rim before discarding and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Perhaps a touch on the sweet side but I enjoyed it as well.

    • Like 2
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